Shell companies that cannot be traced back to their owners are one of the most important mechanisms by which corrupt officials transfer illicit wealth from developing countries. This process damages these countries’ development prospects. Clear international standards mandate that the real owners of all companies should be traceable, but this is often not enforced. Development agencies and developing country governments should work to prioritise more effective regulation of shell companies.
Sharman, J. Tackling shell companies: Limiting the opportunities to hide proceeds of corruption. U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, CMI, Bergen, Norway (2012) 4 pp. [U4 Brief, December 2012: 10]